BOOK CLUB: The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything

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The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything by Kara Gnodde is a love story with a massive difference – it’s not a mushy romance novel.

Mimi lives with her brother, Art, who is a talented mathematician and professor. Despite his intelligence, he is challenged with OCD. 

Mimi has always cared for him, but the role of carer stepped up after the tragic death of their parents.  She loves her brother, but also longs for a man to enter her life who will love her and delight in her.

Someone special just for her. 

One day she makes a pact with her brother, and promises to follow his carefully worked out algorithm and pick the guy that shows up at the best time. Little did she know that Frank would enter her life, and she would fall head over heels in love. 

What’s even more wonderful is that Frank falls for her as well. Art is not impressed, and finds that he does not trust Frank at all so he sets out to prove that Frank can’t be trusted.

This story shows that often things are not quite what they seem and at times you need to dig deeper to unearth the truth.

The deep love between a brother and sister although a blessing can at times weigh a person down, but when the crunch comes that love will resurface.

This is a great read with a difference and perfect for the upcoming four day Easter Weekend. It’s a book that goes perfectly with chocolate.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything by Kara Gnodde. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything

  1. The Theory of Not Quite Everything is a delightfully different read. It describes the relationship between a brother and sister and how it changes over time. Mimi, does eventually find romantic love for herself, but has to negotiate a lot of emotional baggage caused by her parents tragic suicide.
    Art, her older brother, a gifted mathematician, has doubts about Mimi’s new relationship and this creates a rift with serious consequences for both of them.
    Kara Gnodde has produced a love story with a definite twist.
    Do yourself a favour and read this one!

  2. The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything by Kara Gnodde is a different read.

    Love story with a twist.
    A brother and sister so close yet so different.
    Adult orphans still dealing with their parents tragic death years later.
    Art is a Mathematical genius working on a problem that could change the world.
    Mimi’s life revolves around her brother.
    When Mimi decides she wants to find love,
    Art convinces her love can only be found by mathematics,
    an algorithm.
    Like everything else Art believes is based upon,
    and signs her up on a dating site which he monitors without Mimi knowing.
    When Mimi meets Frank, at an Awards Night and not on the Dating Site,
    Art feels his life is spiralling out of control, he cannot control Mimi in her actions and decisions.
    He does not trust Frank and sets out to prove he is correct.
    Art believes he is always correct.

    This book is hard to read at times and can be quite confronting, frustrating, funny and sad
    and portrays how different some peoples brains are wired,
    what they believe and how sometimes outside situations
    can have a permanent impact.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read and review this different book.

  3. This delightful debut zips and zaps around, keeping the reader off balance and not quite sure what kind of book they’re reading. The ultimate effect is both warm and absorbing.

    Mimi and Art Brotherton are siblings still living together in their childhood home. Art doesn’t want anything to change. Mimi desperately wants things to change. Both seem trapped by the trauma of their parents’ joint suicide, Art’s “quirks”, and Mimi’s mild social awkwardness.

    The novel is nowhere near as dark as that scene setting suggests. When Mimi decides she’s going to deliberately go looking for love, Art is horrified. And then, conceding that it’s probably inevitable, he turns his mathematical brain to helping Mimi. An algorithm will help her make a much more sensible decision than her own heart.

    Mimi finds herself drawn to Frank, who is in no way suitable, according to Art and his algorithm. Mimi’s determination to keep seeing Frank strains her relationship with Art. Then Art’s suspicions of Frank begin to grow, and go beyond his relationship with Mimi.

    I really enjoyed the way this novel briefly teased you with other genres. It’s predominately a novel about relationships broadly, but at times it flirts with romance, with crime, even a touch of the conspiracy thriller… It’s just enough to add a pleasant quirkiness to the novel, without distracting from the real story.

    Art is a really strong character. He’s not all that appealing initially – I don’t know how Mimi could stand to live with him – but as we get to know him better, he becomes very empathetic. Some might want to give him a diagnosis of some sort, but I think it’s enough to see that he has a very particular view of, and approach to, life. Where Art is at the end of the novel didn’t entirely surprise me, but I loved the warmth and the subtlety with which we got there.

    Mimi is a more immediately empathetic person, but she too has her spikes and prickly patches – it just takes a little longer for them to emerge. Readers will sympathise with her more strongly, at least initially. In the long run, though, like Art she has both likeable and unlikeable moments.

    Despite a fairly depressing set up, this is ultimately a very hopeful novel. It’s hopeful about all kinds of relationships – parent/child, siblings, friends, lovers. It doesn’t pretend that they’re always easy, but if there’s a message to the novel I think it’s that it’s worth making the effort to establish and sustain relationships.

    This is a very readable novel. Emotion is leavened with just the right amount of humor. Gnodde presents her characters in a very clear eyed way, somehow feeling as though she’s never criticising them or laughing at them. Some of the mid-novel zig zags made me wonder if we were wandering into a different kind of novel, but served to keep me completely engaged in what was going to happen next.

    This is the kind of novel you tend to want to recommend to everyone. It will be most enjoyed by those who like novels about people (rather than action or ideas), strong characters, and mildly off beat plots.

  4. The Theory of not Quite Everything is a heart warming story of family obligations and romance.

    Brother and sister ,Art and Mimi, lost their parents in a tragic accident 13 years earlier.
    Art is a Professor, a mathematical genius. As the older brother, he feels bound to take care of Mimi.
    Mimi feels bound to take care of Art, as not everyone understands his quirks.
    Mimi wants more in her life.She tells Art “ she would like to meet a man”.
    After joining a dating site ,Art also sign in to her account.Art takes control mathematically and forms a plan based on algorithms .
    When Mimi meets Frank, not through the dating site, and there is a mutual attraction. Art believes she is making the wrong choice, there is no way he can be the one.

    Everything becomes complicated.
    Love and attraction doesn’t work by algorithms!

    My heart felt for Mimi as she struggles to balance pleasing her brother but wanting to follow her heart.
    Art, Mimi, her best friend Ray and Frank are lovely strong characters.

    There is so much more in this story as Art and Mimi struggle to make sense of the past. Some surprising twists.
    The story will make you laugh and make you cry.
    A great read.

  5. I love getting a book that is different from others, an eccentric book of sorts with a great read to be had.
    Filled with a lot of emotions carried from the past and differences Mimi tried to keep from her brother Art but couldn`t as I am sure she thought he`d react differently and protest that it was not the right way to be going about finding romance.
    I thought Art was too protective and felt poor Mimi just needed to discover her own journey of finding love and moving forward but was afraid she would hurt Art too much in the process. I did get annoyed with Art in the beginning thinking his behaviour was too suffocating and felt sorry for Mimi because she always seemed to have to put Art first but Mimi was a kind soul and knew it was who Art was.
    Totally not what I was expecting which is what I love about unpredictable books, a really enjoyable read, liked all of the characters in this book and liked the way maths was incorporated into this cleverly and not overdone at all.
    Thanks for the chance to read and review as I have enjoyed greatly!

  6. The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything was an interesting read.
    We follow the story of siblings Mimi and Art. Mimi is a sweet Mother figure to Art and Art, is a gifted mathematician.
    Mimi decides to actively look for love but to make Art not feel abandoned she gets him involved.
    Throughout the book you can feel Mimi’s struggle with wanting to pull away from ger Brother but not feeling able to.
    I felt this was a heartfelt story, full of love, complexities, quirks and interpretation.
    Thank you for the opportunity to review 🙂

  7. I really struggled with this book, it didn’t seem to have the simple “flow” of a lot of the other types of books I’ve read lately. It not really what I was expecting but I did manage to get through it but I do love a book you can read for hours on end and I felt like this one had to be put down after each chapter.

    The story of Mimi and Art was a nice one, I don’t think this is something I would recommend to eveyone

  8. What a lovely, quirky, refreshing and rewarding book Kara Gnodde’s The Theory of (Almost) Everything is. Mimi and Art have a very close and strong but complicated and at times problematic sibling relationship which is put to the test when Mimi decides to look for a romantic partner. Enter Frank, who seems perfect and Mimi quickly falls for but does not fit Art’s algorithm and is he hiding some ulterior motive? So forms an unconventional love triangle of sorts, with Mimi’s love for Art clashing with her romantic love for Frank. Set against a background of high level mathematics, the story boasts a cast of fabulous characters. With past events and experiences casting long shadows over the present, this is an emotional and ultimately heart warming read, which I would highly recommend!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review Kara Gnodde’s fantastic debut novel The Theory of (Not Quite) Everything.

  9. Oh, I loved this book! Art is a professor in mathematics, an extremely intelligent man, a genius in fact, who’s desperately trying to crack the formula ‘p versus Np’, and change the world with his results. He lives with his sister Mimi, who works with a friend producing noises for movie/TV soundtracks. They’ve had tragedy in their lives that is so heartstopping it’s hard to move on, so they just muddle along together, Mimi mostly looking after Art as he requires everything in his life to be strictly ordered.

    But Mimi is also lonely, much to Art’s disconcertment. Still, in his own way of trying to also look after her, he constructs a mathematical theorem regarding how to go about looking for a mate, and love. When she meets Frank, quite outside the theorem Art’s presented her, Art’s unimpressed and suspicious – but Mimi and Frank are deliciously happy.

    Then tragedy strikes, again. It was so unexpected it was a true shock to read.

    Even so, through all this the book was a true joy to read. The mathematics, the logic, the utter illogical form of love in all its messiness, the unravelling of what Art and Mim thought they knew about their family and friends, Mimi and Frank’s relationship, and Ernest, truly an earnest friend, it’s all slowly revealed in a series of shock revelations. By the end nothing is what you might have thought it would be. Just wonderful.

    Thankyou to Beauty & Lace and Pan MacMillan for the review copy.

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